This doctor is out to heal the planet
Dr Raj Phaden, a certified Ayurvedacharya with over 10 years’ experience is on a mission to save the world by saving its greens. He is trying to accomplish this by cycling around the world and has covered Sri Lanka, Nepal, Bhutan, Myanmar, Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, Australia and Africa so far.
However, what he originally planned was a medical career. He had been running his own hospital for over a decade. With time, he observed a steep rise in the number of people contracting chronic diseases at a relatively young age.
“Earlier, I did not get many cases related to the heart, breathing and cancer. But over the last three to four years, I started receiving cases of 22 to 23 year old youths with heart disease and cancer. The number of people with asthma is also on the rise. So I decided to promote healthy living,” he said.
Dr Phaden swears by the benefits of cycling. “Even if you do cycling five times a week, for just half an hour, it reduces the chance of getting a heart attack by 30%,” he said.
Lately, his journey took him to Bangladesh and Sri Lanka, where he organised a number of seminars, camps and cycle rallies. “The reception I got there was overwhelming. They appreciate the fact that someone from outside has come to teach them about the environment. It feels nice to work with people who want to bring about a change,” he said. Before setting out to cover the world, Dr Raj was amazed at the polarities he witnessed in different parts of the country. “Awareness levels are pathetic in Delhi and Uttar Pradesh, while Sikkim and Mizoram show a high degree of awareness and responsibility towards the environment. People over there live in harmony with nature,” he said. Dr Raj has organised more than 25 cycle rallies in various states. However, he says a token of acknowledgement from the Centre or Haryana government would help him tide over diplomatic hurdles.